Plain Sailing – Day 5

Came on watch this morning to a cloudless sapphire blue sky and a deep blue
sea and a good constant wind coming in from the north – perfect conditions,
especially the wind bit. The wind is forecast to ease but lets hope that it
holds. The skipper reckons we are about a day out from the scoring gate. It
is difficult to say how exactly we are doing. Simply looking at the SeaPro
chart says we are 6th but all the boats are converging on the scoring gate
from different angles – so we might be 2nd or we might be 6th. But what we
do know is that we are eating the miles out of the lead the other boats
have/had over us + there is a very positive feeling that this time we are
in with a good chance.

Haven’t really seen too much in the way of marine wildlife so far but
yesterday afternoon a pod of dolphins came to surf our wake and then
another pod a little later on. Dolphins seem to extract such joy from life
– diving and jumping and crossing in the spume from the bows. There they
were along side us – a real wow! moment. Then we saw a lone albatross-like
bird skimming the surface of the sea with just consummate ease – somebody
said it was a Californian Petrol. Actually none of the crew really knew
what the bird was, but it matters not, it was majestic anyway.

This morning we had another surprise – a light littering of dead squid on
the deck. Perhaps driven there by the dolphins? So we did dead-squid-
clear-up duty and the inky patches and the corpses are now gone – although
I suspect there might be unpleasant surprises waiting when we finally re-
hoist the yankee and staysail sails currently parked on the foredeck. Funny
things squid – grey gelatinous creatures about 6 inches long with a raster
of tentacles at one end – if they didn’t exist could you make them up?

We are on a course that will take us closer to the coast – all of us are
willing that we will see more whales. Funny what becomes a priority when
you are at sea.

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